Friday, April 1, 2011

Guthrum Sits on a Hero's Throne, and Asks if He is Dead

The Man Who Knew Too MuchThe Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I rated this book as world-class, and allow me to qualify: it is probably only world-class to me. After all, the hero dies in the end. Oops. But he's depressed, which makes me love him. He takes a semi-pessimistic view of the world, a la Eliza Bennett's "The more I know of the world the more I am dissatisfied with it" (or whatever she says to Jane that's similar to that). And he complains that his wisdom is only of all the wrong things, so I cannot help but love him. His personality, of all of Chesterton's characters (excluding villains), is most akin to mine, or at least I think it is. Perhaps Brooke or Becky know better (and yes, I know it's misspelled, it's that way on purpose).

It's another selection of short stories that I would recommend to anyone. Not quite so flippant as Father Brown, nor so absurd as Queer Trades, but still vintage Chesterton, from a rare and dusty barrel.

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Hark Twain Once

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well. Going from Chesterton to Twain? Not exactly the smoothest of segues, kinda like skateboarding when you see a pretty girl and (therefore) not the curb.

I forgot how judgmental Mr. Clemens tends to be. I knew I wasn't going to be all that fond of this particular book of his, what with me being all romantic-ish and whatnot, but I thought it would be enjoyable, not like a poorly presented sermon. And don't get me wrong--it had some hilarious spots, as it is Twain--just not enough to justify it in my mind. I would recommend reading it once, but not twice, and perhaps--dare I say it?--as if you want to say "current" with a clear conscience, but you already know that the quiz doesn't include this particular selection.

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Wodehousian Fun